One of the reviews for The Much Too Promised Land also favorably reviewed Daniel Kurtzer and Scott Lasensky‘s Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace, so I was interested to read this shorter volume by two of the Arab-Israeli experts complimented by Miller. In less than one hundred pages, the authors define lessons learned and opportunities lost, give a report card on the peace process, delve into more details on lessons learned, and provide recommendations for future administrations (to quote the chapter titles). Given the nature of the organization which commissioned this title and the brevity of the book, I felt like I was reading some sort of briefing paper for a new (or newly interested) administration. The authors present a more pro-active stance than Miller did and, although they share many of his criticisms of past efforts, they do not seem to let that keep them from recommending that the US still take an active role in the Arab-Israeli peace process.
For the reader unfamiliar with the Arab-Israeli conflict, this book is not a good place to start. But it does make a nice follow-up to Miller’s work on the subject (which may be a good place to start if the reader can get over Miller’s pessimism). In addition to the well-researched and detailed main section of the book, the book’s appendices include a timeline of 1967-2007, selected documents, online references, a recommended reading list and five fold-out color maps. These reference tools in the last half of the book are really reason enough to have this book on your bookshelf.
(By the way, Ambassador Kurtzer has a brief entry in the current Foreign Policy Middle East Peace Special, scroll down a bit on the first page.)